A great preworkout can make you feel unstoppable. A bad preworkout can leave you feelng flatter than a witch’s tit.
So when you unearth a product that truly delivers, I encourage you to cherish it.
The preworkout industry is saturated with energy-boosting products, most of them below-par, and it’s one sector of the fitness world which needs a good kick up the proverbial backside.
So when the folks at Adapt Nutrition got in touch to ask if I would run their new preworkout through my deliberately harsh supplement rating system, I was happy to oblige.
After all, when a company openly reaches out knowing that I’ll tear the formula to shreds if it doesn’t deliver, I take it as a sign that they are supremely confident in what they have developed.
Today, you’ll get my full, uncut Adapt Nutrition Pre Train review, and see how it fares against the competitors in the preworkout marketplace.
The Preworkout Problem
Preworkout supplements tend to fall into one of two traps:
- It made me sick
- It did nothing at all
It’s tricky to determine which of the two situations above is nastier.
Would you rather pay top dollar for a product that makes you feel as jittery as your nan playing Jenga?
Or would you rather spend money on something that delivers all the hard-edged intensity of a Jennifer Aniston movie?
Heck, this hit-and-miss scenario is the main reason that I regularly make my own preworkout drink using individual ingredients.
The problem here is that the energy-boosting supplement marketplace is booming, and we have tons of manufacturers racing products out with awful nutrition labels, hoping to carry their product on hype alone.
Supplements loaded with sugar and plastered on horrendous advertising campaigns, then thrown at the masses in the hope that they won’t know any better.
Worse still, many supplement manufacturers still operate as they did in days gone by, hiding their nutrition information and formula behind what’s known as a proprietary blend.
They’ll tell you, the consumer, that this is to preserve their top secret creation and stop competitors from stealing it.
When preworkouts were new on the scene, this made perfect sense.
But nowadays, it’s common knowledge that most preworkout supplements are largely based around the same ingredients, so if they’re hiding the formula it’s because they don’t want you to see how fucking terrible it is. Some will even include a banned substance or two that aren’t displayed on the label.
We live in an age now where if a company has a great formula, they’ll let their numbers do the talking, the same way Jim Stoppani did with Pre Jym.
So I encourage you to steer clear of any preworkout that refuses to give you the dosages of the key ingredients.
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train Review
Which brings me to Adapt Nutrition Pre Train…
It is refreshing to see a product arrive on the scene which lays everything out in such a transparent manner.
No proprietary blends, no hidden ingredients.
Adapt Nutrition fully embrace the new wave of the supplement industry by getting behind the concept that your formula is your strongest selling point.
And they deserve huge praise for doing this in an industry where too many manufacturers still take the easy way out.
But before I give that praise, let’s look at the formula itself.
Each serving provides you with:
- 3g arginine
- 1.5g citrulline malate
- 1g betaine
- 140mg bitter orange peel
- 1.5g beta-alanine
- 300mg caffeine
Here’s a quick rundown of all the main ingredients.
Arginine is a nitric oxide booster. Why do you need to boost nitric oxide before a workout?
Well, this will see your blood cells widen, allowing for greater delivery of nutrients while you workout. (1)
This means greater performance and, as such, arginine has been included in a ton of preworkout supplements since the first boom of N.O. boosters hit the market in the mid-2000’s.
At 3 grams, the argnine dosage is not high enough to produce maximum effectiveness due to arginine’s poor absorption rates. For that, we must rely on the next ingredient…
- Citrulline malate
Consider citrulline arginine’s bigger, better model.
This amino acid will perform many of the same jobs as arginine with one crucial difference – once inside the body, arginine is poorly absorbed, with much of it being lost on it’s way to the working muscles. In fact, one study suggests that as little as 1% of arginine survives the liver and intestines. (2)
Citrulline, on the other hand, has a much greater absorption rate. (3)
Citrulline allows you to gain the benefits of arginine supplementation better than using arginine itself, and among those benefits are greater training endurance and a greater pump.
The drawback here is that the citrulline content isn’t high enough at 1.5g to yield the maximum effectiveness. Sure, we are also get arginine and the two will work together as a 4.5g tag team to open up your blood cells and increase the delivery of key nutrients while training, but if we wanted to really get the most from this we’d be looking to remove arginine from the formula and replace it with a citrulline malate dosage of around 5-6 grams.
Betaine shows promise when it comes to boosting athletic performance levels.
One useful study from the University of Connecticut found that using betaine before training was able to help participants boost their strength output by around 25%, while a further study noted that it is particularly useful during sprint performance, and it has since gone on to become a mainstay in the supplement plan of most track athletes. (4, 5)
Optimal dosage is around 1.25g before training.
While Pre Train does only give us 1g betaine, note that it also includes choline, which is broken down by the body to derive more betaine. Simply speaking, it hits the mark.
- Bitter orange peel
If you have ever used a fat burner before, you’ll be familiar with bitter orange peel.
This energy-boosting substance is a less potent relation of the banned substance ephedrine, and it’s benefits include increased fat loss and focus. It has similarities with caffeine, but these effects will only be felt if you are caffeine naive. (6)
At 140mg, the dosage here is significant enough to get the job done.
Beta-alanine is responsible for the tingly, skin-crawling sensation you experience with most preworkout supplements.
But while most companies throw it in there for that purpose alone, it does have some pretty useful training benefits, too.
Most notably, using beta-alanine around workouts has been shown to buffer your resistance to lactic acid build-up – meaning your muscles are able to withstand “the burn” to a greater degree. (7)
But while you can experience the training benefits of beta-alanine on a regular basis if you continue to supplement with it, you will lose the tingly effect (known as parasthesia), which wears off with consistent use.
This is nothing to worry about, but if you are using it purely as a means to “feel” your preworkout then the only way to regain this effect is to increase the dosage of beta-alanine.
At 1.5g per serving, Adapt Nutrition have given Pre Train enough beta-alanine to reap the results it offers, without making the dosage so high that it blows your head off.
Caffeine is the king of ingredients in any preworkout, and they really haven’t messed about here.
At 300mg, Pre Train sits right at the top of the marketplace in terms of caffeine content, making it a supplement which is certainly not for the feint-hearted.
Caffeine will boost everything from your alertness and ability to focus, to your energy levels and even fat loss. That being said, your experience with caffeine supplementation depends largely on your tolerance levels. (8)
If you are already consuming plenty of caffeine through your diet (tea, coffee, etc) then you will not get as much of a “kick” from the caffeine in your preworkout as somebody who is more caffeine naive.
Some of my clients find that 100mg is enough to power them through a session, while others need a bit more. Needless to say, however, that 300mg is a whopping dosage and it’s the go-to choice if you ever find yourself playing a teenager in a Freddy Krueger movie.
Adapt Nutrition Pre Train Review – The Final Verdict
This is a great supplement.
Particularly if your workouts are typically under an hour, and based around high intensity interval training.
The dosage of citrulline/arginine mean it won’t be as effective for those workouts which never seem to end, and if you used this before a mammoth gym session I believe you’d find yourself face down in a bin looking for sugar before the end of your gymtime.
But that’s not really what Pre Train was designed for.
The incredible combo of caffeine, beta-alanine, betaine and bitter orange peel mean this is a preworkout supplement which will wake you the fuck up, and fast.
It’s un-be-lievable for HIIT workouts.
In fact, every single participant in a group of my male and female clients I trialed this supplement on gave it a big thumbs up.
That does not happen very often.
As such, Adapt Nutrition Pre Train receives a very nice 4 stars on my supplement rating system. I’ll even go as far as saying that Pre Train is the best preworkout supplement developed in the UK in the last 2-3 years.
- Alvares, T. S., et al. Acute l-arginine supplementation increases muscle blood volume but not strength performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Feb;37(1):115-26.
- Castillo, L., et al. Splanchnic metabolism of dietary arginine in relation to nitric oxide synthesis in normal adult man. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993; 90: 193–7.
- Sureda, A., et al. Arginine and citrulline supplementation in sports and exercise: ergogenic nutrients? Med Sport Sci. 2012;59:18-28. doi: 10.1159/000341937. Epub 2012 Oct 15.
- Lee, E. C., et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jul 19;7:27.
- Armstrong, LE, et al. Influence of betaine consumption on strenuous running and sprinting in a hot environment. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 May;22(3):851-60.
- Stohs, S. J., et al. Effects of p-synephrine alone and in combination with selected bioflavonoids on resting metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported mood changes . Int J Med Sci. (2011).
- Hoffman, J., et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;29(12):952-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038678.
- Beaven, C. M., et al. Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008 Apr;18(2):131-41.